How to Roast Hatch Green Chile
Choose chile that is bright green, smooth, symmetrical, heavy for its size, mature and crisp. Wash peppers before roasting.
Roasting (or Blistering) is the application of heat to the surface resulting in blistering of the skin, which then separates from the chile flesh, making the skin easier to remove.
There are several ways to blister pepper skin for easy removal. Fire-roasting, steam injection, microwave heating or any other source of high heat, applied directly to the surface of the pepper will cause the skin to blister. Roasting slowly over a flame creates carmelization of sugars, which adds a distinct flavor to the final product.
Here are several ways you can do this:
HOW TO ROAST HATCH CHILE IN THE OVEN OR BROILER:
Place chile on a cookie sheet or other non-stick oven-safe cookware. Poke holes with a fork in a few places on each pod (so they don’t explode), and place the cookie sheet as close to the heating element as possible after pre-heating your oven to 400 degree F. The broil setting works best as it will provide a high level of heat from your uppermost heating element or burner.
Typically, it’ll take 6-8 minutes to fully roast but be sure to keep an eye on your chile. As soon as the skin is mostly blistered away from the flesh of the chile, you’ll know it’s ready to pull out of the oven. Leaving it in too long will burn the skin, making it extremely difficult to peel.
HOW TO ROAST HATCH CHILE ON THE STOVE:
Cover gas or electric burner with a layer of heavy wire mesh and place chile on mesh once it’s hot; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides.
HOW TO ROAST HATCH CHILE ON THE GRILL:
Place peppers on a charcoal grill about 5 to 6 inches above glowing coals; using tongs carefully turn peppers frequently, exposing all surfaces to the heat source until skin blisters evenly on all sides.
HOW TO ROAST HATCH CHILE IN THE MICROWAVE:
Place peppers in a microwave safe dish; cover with secure air-tight lid to allow for steam build up. Place container on rotating plate in the center of the oven, then microwave for 7 to 8 minutes depending on the oven wattage and power level (settings may vary depending on microwave oven used). Blistering is not apparent with this method. However, the skin will have a tougher, more brittle texture compared to the raw pepper. Allow steam to fully develop in the covered container for I to 2 minutes after microwave cooking.
Caution: Steam will be released from container when the lid is opened.
Since capsicum can be an irritant to skin and eyes, here are some precautions you can take: use safety glasses, remove contact lenses before peeling, wear gloves and wear a long-sleeved shirt. After roasting and once the peppers have cooled, the blistered skin will pull off the chile flesh with a gentle tug and an occasional rinse with water. In areas that did not completely blister, the skin can be removed by scraping with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. To help in peeling, place roasted peppers (while they are hot) in a microwave safe or heat tolerant covered container or plastic bag (food grade) that will allow steam to release slowly from the roasted peppers. Once cooled the peels can then be pulled off.
Also, peeling chile under running water in a sink helps separate skin from the pod and can significantly speed up the peeling process.
Freezing and Storage
Roasted peppers must be properly frozen to ensure a high quality, safe product. Roasted peeled peppers should be refrigerated within 2 hours of exposure to heat. Whole peppers can be frozen unpeeled and are easier to peel after freezing. Home freezers are inefficient at removing heat quickly from food placed in containers deeper than 2 inches. If storage packages are too large, peppers will freeze slowly, resulting in a mush texture because of ice crystal formation within the chile tissue. Therefore, it’s best to use shallow containers to allow for quick cooling. Specialized plastic freezer containers with lids or freezer bags are best for storing in freezer. Remove as much air as possible to reduce amount of surface crystallization that can form in air spaces during freezer storage.
Information provided by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service